Muggings and Spy Hops


We had a Kona storm roll in to the island on Friday, so we had to cancel a bunch of our cruises…but we did get to go out a couple of times, and we got to see some pretty fun stuff. On our Friday Wake-up With the Whales, guests on Manu Iwa spent the first hour or so watching 10 different whales in pods of two just spouting and diving. We did get a few great fluke shots. But towards the end of the cruise, we were “mugged” by a sub-adult! This guy came right up to the boat, spy-hopped on the starboard side and looked at all of us. We were going crazy! Then he slid below the surface, swam underneath us and spy-hopped on the port side looking at all of us again! On Friday’s 10:00 Whale Watch on Alala we saw spouts from 14 different Humpbacks. Most were in pods of two, but we did see a few solo whales. Everyone seemed to be very relaxed, just surfacing, taking 3 or 4 breaths and diving. Most of the whales were on 15-17 minute dive cycles.
By Sunday, the ocean had calmed down a little, but it was still sort of bumpy out there. On our 8:00 Wake-up with the Whales, we saw 6 different Humpbacks, mostly just breathing and diving. Same thing on our 10:00 Whale Watch — we saw 10-12 different whales and they were all just spouting and diving.But on our mid-day private Whale Watch we got to see some breaching about 75 yards from the boat.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Spy hopping is one of the ways a Humpback can see what’s going on above the surface of the water. Because Humpbacks have really big heads proportionally, their eyes are about a third of the way down their bodies. When the whale spy hops, she rises slowly and vertically from the water, head first. If she’s a fully grown whale, the tip of her rostrum may be 15 feet above the surface before her eyes get there!Humpback Mugs Boat

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